Service Gateway Earth Station Facility in ) Call Sign: E120072
Lino Lakes, Minnesota with the Inmarsat-5 F2 )
Space Station )
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Adopted: July 14, 2015 Released: July 14, 2015 By the Chief, Satellite Division, International Bureau:
I. INTRODUCTION 1 By this Memorandum Opinion and Order we grant in part, and deny in part, the Petition of Iridium Satellite LLC (Iridium) to reconsider or clarify a condition adopted on a license granted to Inmarsat Mobile Networks, Inc. (Inmarsat) for operations in the 29.1-29.25 GHz frequency band.1 The license granted Inmarsat authority to construct and operate a Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) earth station at Lino Lakes, Minnesota to communicate with Inmarsat’s recently launched Inmarsat-5 F2 space station, operating at the 55° W.L. orbital location. Iridium filed a petition for reconsideration or clarification of a condition on Inmarsat’s use of the 29.1-29.25 GHz frequency band, in which Iridium also operates. For the reasons discussed below, we grant Iridium’s petition in part, and deny it in part.
II. DISCUSSION 2 The Inmarsat License Order, in response to concerns raised by Iridium about the impact of Inmarsat’s proposed operations on the feeder links Iridium uses for its mobile satellite service (MSS) operations, includes the condition that:
Inmarsat’s operations in the 29.1-29.25 GHz band shall be on a non-interference basis
to MSS feeder link … operations. Inmarsat must cease operations in the event of any interference into … MSS feeder link operations. In addition, Inmarsat may not claim interference protection from … MSS feeder link operations in this frequency band.2
3 Iridium’s petition seeks reconsideration or clarification of this condition.3 First, Iridium seeks clarification of whether the condition applies only with respect to MSS feeder links already licensed, or whether, as Iridium believes it should, also with respect to MSS feeder links that may be licensed in the future.4 Second, Iridium asks for clarification that this condition applies to the receivers on the Inmarsat-5 F2 space station, i.e., that Inmarsat cannot claim protection for any reception of signals in the 29.1-29.25 GHz frequency band by the Inmarsat-5 F2 satellite.5 4 Inmarsat opposed the petition as “unwarranted and unnecessary.”6 Inmarsat states that its operations in the 29.1-29.25 GHz band are governed by a coordination agreement between the parties, and that the Lino Lakes operations will be within the terms of that coordination. Expanding the condition to cover future feeder link stations, Inmarsat states, could change the terms of the coordination and expand Iridium’s rights under the agreement.7 Iridium replied to Inmarsat’s opposition stating, in sum, that Inmarsat has mischaracterized the terms of the coordination agreement between the parties.8 5 We grant Iridium’s petition insofar as it requests clarification that the condition applies with respect to both current and future MSS feeder links. According to the Ka-Band Plan, the FSS (Earth-to-space) allocation of the 29.1-29.25 GHz frequency band is designated to feeder links to MSS space stations. As a consequence, Inmarsat’s operations in 29.1-29.25 GHz frequency band may not cause interference to existing or future MSS feeder link operations. 6 We deny Iridium’s request insofar as it seeks clarification that the condition applies to all reception of signals by the Inmarsat-5 F2 satellite in the 29.1-29.25 GHz frequency band. The condition applies to transmissions from the Lino Lakes’ earth station and reception of those specific signals by the receivers on the Inmarsat-5 F2 satellite. The condition does not apply, however, to reception at the receivers on the Inmarsat-5 F2 satellite of other signals from Inmarsat earth stations in the 29.1-29.25 GHz frequency band. We decline to expand the scope of our decision beyond the specific Inmarsat facilities involved. Questions relevant to additional Inmarsat facilities may be addressed in connection with a specific licensing request, or through the international coordination process, as appropriate.9 Therefore, we deny this portion of Iridium’s petition.
III. ORDERING CLAUSE 7 Accordingly it is ORDERED, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.2 and 1.106, that Iridium Satellite LLC’s Petition for Reconsideration or Clarification of the Inmarsat License Order, DA 15-392, is GRANTED IN PART, and DENIED IN PART.
8This action is issued pursuant to Sections 0.261 of the Commission's rules on delegated authority,47 C.F.R. § 0.261, and is effective immediately.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Jose P. Albuquerque
Chief, Satellite Division
1 Inmarsat Mobile Networks, Inc., Order and Authorization and Declaratory Ruling, DA 15-392 (Rel. March 30, 2015) (Inmarsat License Order).
2 Inmarsat License Order at ¶ 41(e).
3 Iridium Satellite LLC, Petition for Reconsideration or Clarification, filed April 29, 2015 (Iridium Petition).
4Id. at 4.
5Id. at 5.
6 Inmarsat Mobile Networks, Inc., Opposition to Petition for Reconsideration or Clarification (filed May 11, 2015) (Inmarsat Opposition). Inmarsat filed both a public (redacted) Opposition and an unredacted Opposition, subject to a request for confidential treatment pursuant to47 C.F.R. §§ 0.457and0.459.
7Id. at 3.
8 Iridium Satellite LLC, Reply to Opposition to Petition for Reconsideration or Clarification (filed May 19, 2015). Iridium filed both a public (redacted) Reply and an unredacted Reply, subject to a request for confidential treatment pursuant to47 C.F.R. §§ 0.457and0.459.
9See International Telecommunication Union Radio Regulation 9.6.